Definitive, groundbreaking collection of 12 CDs of Kokyoku, 'old pieces' originally performed during the Edo period (pre-1868) that have been preserved and still performed today. Following the arrival of Commodore Perry in 1853 under Western influence the new Meiji government was established in 1868 beginning the modern era or kindai. The Edo period is known as kinsei (pre-modernization) and what is called 'traditional' in Japan is generally something that originated during kinsei, before Meiji. Kokyoku is often associated with kabuki theatre although with the exception of Kato- bushi music used in the kabuki play Sukeroku and a few Ogie pieces, they are rarely used in kabuki today. Kokyoku are therefore nowadays almost exclusively performed in concert. The preserved pieces on these CDs are performed in almost the identical way they were during the Edo period, in the way of singing and shamisen playing, styles that have all but disappeared from kabuki. Each style has its own performers who specialize in that particular form. The styles represented on this box set are the four styles of Icchu-bushi, Ogie-bushi, Kato-bushi and Miyazono-bushi. The performers include Icchu Miyako, Otsuchu Miyako, Setsu Ogie, Chika Ogie, Setsuko Yamabiko, Chikako Yamabiko and Senroku Miyazono.